Former Warriors Head Coach Don Nelson To Be Elected to Hall of Fame

Don Nelson, the NBA’s all-time winningest coach, and one of the most noted names in Warriors history, told ESPN Dallas  that he got good news this time from the Hall of Fame committee.

NELSON: “It’s a great honor to cap my career. I’ve had a great time and a great life coaching basketball. I don’t actually need to be rewarded for anything, but I am very proud and my family is very proud of this award.”

Nelson was a three-time Coach of the Year and s widely considered an innovator for his creation of small ball. Nelson had been passed up for the last few years. But last year, legendary Utah coach Jerry Sloan got the Hall of Fame nod. That eliminated the one knock against Nelson – his lack of a championship. Sloan has never won an NBA title either.

Nelson was at Oracle Arena on March 19 as the Warriors retired the jersey of Chris Mullin, who was part of last year’s Hall of Fame class.

Nelson was one of 12 finalists for the class of 2012. Also on the ballot are Reggie Miller, five-time NCAA Final Four coach Rick Pitino, former NBA coach Bill Fitch, Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Dick Motta, Hank Nichols, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes, two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain, and the female version of the Harlem Globetrotters – the All-American Red Heads,. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will officially announce the 2012 class on Monday at the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans.

Marcus Thompson

  • Niners in 2012

    Congrats!! The only coach to take the Warriors to the playoffs the last 18 years. (yikes!)

  • Ewok

    I like to Congratulate him for the recognition.

    However, this is one guy who has done so manny mind games to his players which ultimately disintegrated what he created. He can create a great winning team but he has this tendency to break it in the process and i suspect its because of his ego. Him first.

    He could’ve handled the Webber, Sprewell, situation a lot better. He could’ve kept Run DMC by not trading Mitch Richmond to a bum-cancer in the locker room, Billy Owens, He could’ve continued the We Believe Line up to greater heights, he could’ve handled the then
    GM-Mullin situation a lot better without backstabing him… and there’s more to him that i feel very turned off to this day… I almost forgot, he also encouraged the trading of Steve Nash and not to mention his feud with Marc Cuban as well.

    In short, for some people like me, i will remember him as a great coach who was good in buidling up a team… and destroying it to pieces. I feel more heartbroken than elated whenever i think of Nellie.

  • Twinkie defense

    Congrats Nellie! You’re the reason I grew to love pro ball.

  • marquee jackson

    Well deserved! You made Basketball exciting, made the impossible -possible, made average players – above average. It was quite a career and again the induction is well deserved!

  • Stan

    The Warrior org would have been better off to have never crossed paths with Nelson. He drove off/backstabbed George Karl-another future HOF coach,so that Nelson could hijack TMC..then blew that team up.
    He came back later..and took the team/backstabbed from Mullin-who had built the “We believe” team..then had Mullin fired and AGAIN blew up the team.
    Nelson-who to look at for 59 3/4 reasons why the Warriors have been losers for three decades..

  • Congrats Nellie, for all the downside you brought you were the only one to take us to the playoffs…check out my column for more Warriors conversation…Love it, like it or rip it all feedback is appreciated at trappedingoldenstate.blogspot.com

  • New Warriors column on tanking coming tonight at Congrats Nellie, for all the downside you brought you were the only one to take us to the playoffs…check out my column for more Warriors conversation…Love it, like it or rip it all feedback is appreciated at trappedingoldenstate.blogspot.com

  • MT2…I read every single article and blog and tune in for every KNBR (loved you on Fitz and Brooks today) and Chronicle Live…keep up the great work…any feedback or just getting your read would be awsome and appreciated…Love it, like it or rip it… trappedingoldenstate.blogspot.com

  • stretch

    Nellie definitely deserves to be in the Hall! The creative approach he brought to the game & shear longevity, 31 years of coaching, are validated by his selection.

    That said the “Winnest Coach” you hear over & over, should be balanced by his winning percentage which would place him 46th & he’s also comes in as the 2nd losingest coach of all time. Let’s not mention his playoff percentage or record.

    The “…neither has Jerry Sloan won a championship…” argument is a little hollow also when you consider Nellie never got to finals let alone had to deal with Michael Jordan like Sloan!

    Anyway congrats to Nellie, just wish I could erase his last 2 years coaching the Dubs from my memory.

  • Young

    Tell Lacob to prepare a speech!

  • Stan

    And doesn’t it figure that Nelson couldn’t follow tradition and let the HOF make the announcement? He must combine insecure with selfish to boast.

    Just a bad,bad, case of horrible luck to have Don Nelson come into your WARRIOR org. A real living Trojan Horse.

  • Stan

    You HAVE to put last nights loss on the coach. I watched-and wondered why the Warriors were playing the 4th without a center??..Key layup after lay ups..uncontested by long arms. I’ve seen it all now…

  • Ewok


    They’re tanking, Don’t you get it? LOL!

  • Ewok

    I respect Nellie for being the winningest coach in the NBA. Give him the Hall of Fame membership recognition for all i care.. His game was fun.


    Behind the scenes, he played a lot of head games with his stars, he practiced a lot of ego tripping and is known to have backstabbed even his protegee. I heard Mario Ellie never liked him too.

    He broke up a lot of great teams he himself created, he went to the playoffs so many times, but seemed didn’t know how to handle it and advance further when he got there as Mark Cuban would say in the past.

    To me, at best, he is a winner. But as a coach who built championship teams. Not at all.

    Nevertheles i give him respect for what he accomplished as a player during his heydays as a Celtic and as the winningest coach in the NBA.

    But he will never be my first choice as a coach if i were to build a team.

  • Stan

    My bug with Nelson has nothing to do with is non Warrior years. I see those years like I do when I think of Billy Beane and the HASS family..he won,wanted to win, and the Org. was a winner. But Nelson in all his years with the Warriors-both stints had ulterior motives and if he had to ruin good teams to get his way-he did,and muy pronto.
    Time-and greed- changed Nelson,and it changed Beane man.